News > Blog

Audi Chairman Talks Connectivity, Mobility and Their Global Strategy

Kelsey Pommer, Sr. Coordinator, Digital Media Marketing, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™

Audi is focused on the future – making premium cars that are safer, more comfortable and of course, more connected. The first European automotive manufacturer to deliver a keynote address at the International CES in Las Vegas is now coming to China to participate in the inaugural International CES Asia. Kicking off the show on Sunday, May 24, Audi AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler will deliver the first ever keynote address in International CES Asia history.

We had a chance to ask him some questions about Audi’s global strategy, CES Asia and his upcoming keynote:
What made you want to participate in the inaugural International CES Asia?
“Audi is the premium manufacturer with the most experience in producing automobiles in China – we started in 1988.  So it is no coincidence that our brand is the most successful luxury car brand there.  In 2014, we delivered 578,900 automobiles in China, which has been the single most important market for us for several years.  Audi was the first European automotive manufacturer to give a keynote at CES in Las Vegas.  As a pioneer in Asia and as a pioneer in automotive electronics, we were therefore delighted to be asked to give the opening keynote at the first CES Asia in Shanghai.”

Why is the Asian market important to Audi’s global strategy?
"China is by far the biggest and fastest growing market in the automotive world.  Even though Audi has been the No. 1 premium brand in China for years, we sold almost 18 percent more automobiles there in 2014 than in the year before.  There are more markets with excellent growth potential in several other Asian countries as well. This is one of the reasons why we opened our R&D center in Beijing for China and the whole region in 2013."

What will be the big tech trends we will see at the show?
"Communication, connectivity and mobility.  We expect these three topics, both individually and in the areas in which they combine, to be the platforms for innovation within the automotive industry.  For Audi, both now and in the future, they are all essential.  By connecting the car to the Internet, to the infrastructure and to other cars, you can make mobility safer, more economical and more comfortable.  We also offer specific solutions for single markets such as China.  There will be online services that are adapted to the needs of local customers.  And we will also offer a specific smartphone integration that can incorporate the typical interfaces and customer habits in that region.  Over the past few years, Audi has presented many of the most important innovations in automotive electronics.  And you can be sure that we have many more ideas in the areas of piloted driving as well as electromobility, infotainment and car-to-X-information exchange."

If you could sum up your upcoming keynote in one word, what would it be?

What is one consumer electronics product you cannot live without?
"A mobile device – it connects me to the world and it provides me with all the information I need, regardless of the subject or where I am.   It can help me to make my work and my private life even more convenient.  For me, an Audi is the fastest and most powerful mobile device."

What are you most looking forward to about CES Asia?
"To meet our Asian customers and partners, and to talk to a lot of enthusiasts and experts from the region.  Many future global trends will start in the Asian region.  The conversations we will have at CES Asia will definitely be one of the most inspiring times of the whole year – for all of us!"
Register for the 2015 International CES Asia and follow us on social media to get the latest CES Asia updates. 

Headline photo from the 2015 International CES